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Hailing Lokpal

After the smooth passages in both Houses of the Parliament, the Lokpal Bill awaits Presidential assent to become a law. There are two extreme views to the proposed anti-corruption body – one labeling it as a paper tiger while the other has been more favourable remarking that a beginning has been made. It is understandable that the Bill is not to everybody’s liking and it is the inherent beauty of a democracy to have multiple opinions. There were sharp differences between the ruling and Opposition benches even some months back but luckily the government agreed to the recommendations made by the Select Committee recently enabling a convergence. Corruption at all level has to be fought and it is necessary that a beginning is made. There is no doubt that there are shortcomings in the present form of Lokpal Bill but improvements can be made step by step.  The main criticism against the present form of the Lokpal is that the Prime Minister has been superseded and the body that appears to be higher than the Prime Minister who represents the country at the international level. Such, it will not be favourable for the country. Further, the opponents of the Bill have argued that the right step to break down corruption should have been the creation of infrastructure, special courts and adequate numbers of judges to bring more than 20,000 pending corruption cases to its culmination points.

But the proponents of the Bill have shot down the argument claiming that the opposition is based on fear as they have something to hide. The ruling Congress party had further claimed that there is another section opposing the improved Lokpal who has termed it too weak. In reality, they are worried that once it becomes a law their political shops will be shut, its spokespersons said apparently taking a dig at the Aam Admi Party. The Congress leaders have also opposed the view from the AAP that the large representation of politicians in the body that is suppose to appoint the Lokpal has made the appointment provisions defective. While the indignant views against the politicians are not surprising, it will be too offensive to stereotype every politician as incorrigible crooks and traitors. As a matter of fact, the leaders of the AAP including its chairman Arvind Kejriwal have become politicians after contesting the Assembly elections of Delhi and other states and the party will not be too approving to its leaders being classified within the genre of a corrupted class. The correct policy will be to put faith on the proposed law and participate wholesomely in augmenting its effectiveness by amending its parts or incorporating practicable options whenever required. Moreover, existing laws have been repeatedly modified to ensure that corrupted politicians face the music for their misdeeds. Laloo Prasad and others have been disqualified from Lok Sabha after court conviction for graft and Parliament had earlier expelled 11 MPs for taking bribes for asking questions. On the other hand even Anna Hazare had welcomed the ‘reformed’ Lokpal Bill. The AAP, the Samajwadi Party and other opposing groups should give the new law a chance to prove its utility.



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